Skip to content

Finger-Pointing Starts

House GOP leaders are blaming a floor speech by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as the reason that some Republicans voted against the $700 billion bailout bill.

At a news conference after the vote, House Chief Deputy Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) held up a copy of Pelosi’s floor speech and said her jabs at the Bush administration were “inappropriate in this discussion.”

The economic rescue package went down because of Pelosi’s “failure to listen, failure to lead,” Cantor said.

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) also said he lost votes because of the speech, as did Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who said many Republicans “were reluctant anyway, it didn’t take much to turn them off.”

Democrats mocked that explanation.

Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said he could not imagine such a scenario that “because somebody hurt their feelings they decided to punish the country.”

He said the explanation was intended to mask the GOP failures to corral enough votes to pass the package. Of the Members who allegedly switched because of Pelosi’s comments, Frank offered to talk “uncharacteristically nicely to them.”

Boehner said he didn’t know if Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson would be called back to the Hill to resume negotiations.

“I don’t know that we know the path forward at this point,” he said.

Blunt conceded that before the vote, “We thought we had a dozen more.” He said GOP leaders will be talking to their Members over the next few days about the next step.

Recent Stories

McCarthy promises ‘punishment’ over Bowman fire alarm before vote

House passes stopgap funding bill to avert shutdown

Stopgap funding bills hung up in both chambers

Who are the House Republicans who opposed the stopgap budget bill?

Taking it to the limit — Congressional Hits and Misses

Feinstein broke glass ceilings during decades of Judiciary Committee work